The International Techie
Heather Fleming is an international educator who has worked in parts of Canada, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates and Oman. With an impressive background in education, she is leading the way for technology integration in the schools she has been a part of.
International EducationHeather decided to begin her international teaching career in 1999. She had the desire to go and work abroad and after having conversations with someone who had spent a great deal of time in Abu Dhabi, she decided to jump in! She worked at Sheikh Zayed Private Academy who partnered with Bishop Strachan School in Toronto. This was a cutting edge school in the forefront of technology who was experimenting with the Reggio Emilia project and when Heather returned to Canada was able to see it in action. Heather spent a few years here and her career took her back to Canada. After sometime back in her home country, Heather stated that it was, “time for me to get back to all of my exploration that I did in my early career because it had progressed me so much professionally being there.” Heather made the move to the Hayat Universal Bilingual School in Doha, Qatar.
Educational Technology RolesAs a teacher at the Hayat Universal Bilingual School, alongside teaching elementary students, Heather was the Educational Technology Coordinator. Among her roles were budgeting, training teachers to use different programs, helping to manage tech support as well as supporting teachers on how to facilitate the use of the technology available to them within the school. When asked for advice for educators presenting professional development for other educators, Heather suggests:
- Be yourself when you are presenting.
- Start by saying, “I am not the expert in the room.” There can be many other experts with educational technology being such a vast topic with so many aspects. One person can't know it all, there is so much out there.
- Validate what they already know and where they are coming from. It can presented as just another tool for you to have, not the way that it has to be done. There are many different approaches to using technology.